Philadelphia Innovation Mission

Oct. 16-18, 2019 | Philadelphia

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Consumer Revenue and Digital Transformation

For the first time in Innovation Mission history, we are heading to Philadelphia to check out the great work going on in the city of brotherly love.

Only 15 spots are available so sign up soon – we are expecting a sellout.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fly to Philadelphia

2:00 PM – Welcome remarks and introductions

2:15 PM – 6:00 PM – Best-In-Class Digital Subscriptions

The opening session will feature some of the best local media case studies when it comes to digital subscriptions including the following:

  • Takeaways, roadmaps and lessons learned from the GNI Digital Subscriptions Lab. Ten newspaper partners are participating in this lab that is intensely focused on growing digital subscribers. The nine-month program is now in the roadmap phase and there will be much to share by October. Pete Doucette, Managing Director – Business Transformation, FTI Consulting will be joined by Nikhil Joshi, Global Partnerships Solutions Lead, Google News Initiative and Nancy Lane, President, LMA to showcase some of the best work going on from this exciting program.
  • Doucette will also share some of the strategies that he used while at The Boston Globe that led to their industry-leading digital subscription model.
  • One of the standout partners in the lab is The Houston Chronicle. President Mark Medici (who also serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Hearst) will share their strategy with a specific focus on growing the top of the funnel, hiring and deploying audience development resources, creating a content distribution playbook and much more.
  • We have invited executives from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to round out this exciting opening session. They are without a doubt a best-in-class operation when it comes to digital subscriptions. We are hoping to confirm them soon.

6:30 PM: Group dinner

Thursday, October 17, 2019

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM: The Philadelphia Inquirer – Driving Innovation, Changing Culture & Digital Transformation

Our signature visit will focus on four specific areas:

Digital subscriptions/audience engagement. We’ll take a deep dive into their strategy that has resulted in impressive growth in a short period of time.

Brand Repositioning. We’ll meet with Executive Editor and SVP of News Stan Wischnowski and his team to learn more about their brand revamp including how roles for analysts, videographers and developers were created that allowed them to build out an audience team that had never existed (and how these changes all laid the groundwork for the shift from to as well as the ongoing digital transformation.)

Data strategies that drive revenue. We’ll meet with Michael Zimbalist, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, and the team that participated in the GNI/Deloitte/LMA data lab, to discuss their takeaways and strategies going forward on the advertising side.

Ownership structure. During this visit we’ll learn more about the ownership structure with Lenfest, and how that structure is driving innovation.

2:30 PM – 4:30 PM: The Lenfest Institute – Local Journalism, Innovation, Democracy

We’ll meet with Jim Friedlich, Executive Director and CEO, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, and his team to learn about their work with consumer revenue strategies, digital transformation, new business models and more.

5:30 PM – 7:00 PM: The Venture Café – powered by the Science Center.

The Venture café connects innovators and entrepreneurs every Thursday. A program is being developed that will be highly relevant to local media companies. More information coming soon.

7:15 PM: Group dinner

Friday, October 18, 2019

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM: Beasley Radio Group (Invited)

We’ll learn about their highly successful, high-touch digital agency that is growing and delivering great margins along with some of their other exciting initiatives.

11:00 AM – 12:15 PM: WHYY (Invited)

This not-for-profit member-supported public television and radio station also hosts 50 events/year and boasts a newsroom of 50. They recently acquired Billy Penn from Spirited Media. We’ll learn about their successful strategies during this fascinating visit.

12:15 PM: Mission ends/fly home

The cost of the IM is $2,695 (Includes hotel for two nights, all meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner, on-site management, other hard costs such as room rental, AV, printed materials, etc., and ground transportation to all visits).

Click here to register.